16 December 2009

Missionaries to the World

"Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments." - John Calvin

A Missionary's Vision: http://visionarywomanhood.blogspot.com/2009/11/missionarys-vision.html

A stay-at-home mom (or daughter) is hardly what the world views as a successful vocation. Even in Christian circles it can be looked down upon (more toward daughters than moms). Why settle down and raise kids, when you could be working in orphanages in India?

It is easy to give in to the thought that raising children isn't as important as missionary work. The truth is that all Christians are missionaries, constantly preaching the gospel to those with which we come in contact. I think we can swing either way, making missions in America important or making serving overseas important. Both equally further the cause of Christ and we have to constantly check our balance to keep it from leaning one way or the other. Some of us will do great things for the Kingdom, and some of us will doing small things, but all our work is equal in the sight of the Father. None of us is greater than the other by what we do or how we serve. We may dream of doing great and noble things for Yahweh, when in reality it is He who does (and did!) great and awesome (in the true sense of the word) works for us. May we serve Christ wholeheartedly, whether here or there, abroad or at home, in the slums and in the mansions. May we run the race set before us and finish well by His power and might!

Grace and peace to you all,

15 December 2009

Suffering and Sovereignty

I think the hardest time to submit Yahweh's will is when it involves suffering. So many times we wonder why something is happening. For me, the hardest time is when there doesn't appear any good to come from it. Yet, we have to remember that Yahweh is sovereign in ALL circumstances, good and bad, no matter what the outcome. We have to continue to preach the gospel to ourselves daily no matter what obstacles hit us.

We don't have all the answers. I can't tell you why two families in Virginia lost their mothers in a freak accident. Or why there is such heartache, suffering and loss in this world. All creation groans with the weight of a fallen, broken world as it awaits the reappearance of the One who will come again. All creation looks forward to the new heavens and the new earth free from sin, a place with no sorrow, no tears, no death.

Suffering, though, is oftentimes the refining fire Yahweh uses to burn away our dross and to strengthen our trust in Him. It's not when we are strong and able to make it on our own that we need a comforter and savior, but when we are sorrowful and miserable. The trail may be painful as we are in the heart of the fire, but may we emerge stronger in Him than we were before.

Suffering turns us heavenward. It gives us a reason to long for the celestial city. How easily do we lose sight of the fact that this life is the vapor, the dream that will soon be over! In reality, this life that we now live will be over in the blink of an eye compared to the eternity we will spend in the worship of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings!

In His Service,

25 November 2009

I Want to Know What Love is...

I really, really don't like puppy love/infatuation/whatever your favorite name for it is. You've seen the prototype - the man (the worst cases happen to the "macho" ones) falls head over heels in love with the girl of his dreams, and becomes pretty much consumed and obsessed. Almost every Facebook status mentions their "significant other". They are constantly talking or writing to each other. They want to spend all their time with each other. There's a time and place for romance - like after engagement and marriage - but some of what I've seen is just plain sickening. Maybe I'm just different. Or maybe, my time hasn't come yet. ;-) Of one thing am I certain - I want a guy who is obsessed and crazy about the Lord, not about me. I don't want some superficial love, full of silly nothings. Someone like Mr. Knightly - though he loves Emma, he isn't afraid to chasten her when she has sinned. I want a biblical love, one focused on encouraging spiritually, loving unconditionally, and becoming more like Christ.

That being said, here is a recent article on love that I enjoyed. My favorite is the list comparing infatuation and biblical love: http://ylcf.org/2009/11/what-true-love-is/

24 November 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Nope, you're not going crazy. I'll just be busy tomorrow and Thanksgiving, so I'm posting this week's Thankful Thursday early.

41. That Janae actually sat through church. She's good about sitting through church, it's just doing so quietly that gets to her. It was nice to enjoy a full sermon with minimal distractions!

42. Relief in the mornings after being the one on 'night watch' with Jasmine. It is so nice to be able to get a little more sleep after waking up several times to give her the bottle during the night!

43. Yahweh's unchanging nature. We will lose friends, have family members move away, and experience changes in curcumstances. Yet Yahweh is always there, unchanging and in control of it all. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

44. My mother. She is just utterly amazing. She does such an amazing job at raising kids and always has an answer for any kind of issue I'm having with my younger siblings. I want to be like her!

45. Christmas lights. I enjoy Christmas lights, and am in the process of decorating our front yard. Here's a seceret - I actually have some strung around the baker's rack in the kitchen that I leave up year round. But don't tell anyone. ;-)

46. Being able to be together with my family for Thanksgiving. As us kids get older, I wonder at every big holiday or birthday, if perhaps this will be the last time we'll be able to celebrate together like this. We don't know from one year to the next what our family gatherings will look like, and I know that it won't be long before we are all pulled in different directions and will be able to celebrate together less and less. Thus I cherish these precious times we can spend as a family.

47. Rainy days. If nothing else, it helps us appreciate our sunny days all the more.

48. Cold weather. Though it often makes it a hassle with the younger kids to have to bundle them up more, this is the time of year where I get to make all my favorite soups and drink lots of herbal tea.

49. Yahweh's provision. It may not be until the moment we need it, but Yahweh always provides it. We don't have to worry about tomorrow or the future, He has it all under control.

50. My dear friends who actually take the time to read and comment about my scattered musings on my blog. :-)

Being Molded by Him,

There's a New Dance Group in Town...

Well, not quite yet. We - Jason, Jennifer and I - are working on it though!

Introducing, The Tummas Dance Group:

The name is derived from one of our favorite dances, Softly Good Tummas. I've actually played with idea of starting a dance group for a while, but the problem of where to meet has been the biggest issue. I have one building in mind that I'm hoping will work out, but I won't know for certain until next month. I'm praying that we'll find the best option. Right now we are looking at weekly Friday dances, 7-9pm. For updates, keep an eye on the blog or join our Facebook group (link address is on the blog). If you have a building to suggest or would love to come but those times won't work for you, let me know!

My dream is that this will become a family-oriented group where we can dance and fellowship together. I am excited about this new opportunity and am looking forward to watching this materialize!

With Thanksgiving,

21 November 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Yes, I'm late in posting this. But I have a good excuse reason. I had it all typed up on my phone, pushed "send"...and never saw it again. However, since this post is on thankfulness, I'm not going to go on about my phone troubles, but reminisce on those things in life for which I am grateful.

31. Rise-only cycles on dishwashers. Call me crazy, but I have this preference for washing dishes by hand and sticking 'em in the dishwasher to rinse. To me, it seems to most economical use of water, but I could be wrong. The only downside is no heat-dry. ;-)

32. The CHEA choir concerts. Twice a year, it gives me opportunities to see friends I wouldn't get to see otherwise, and enjoy some delightful music.

33. Access to clean water. Not everyone has this luxury, and I am thankful for the easiness we have in America of being able to satisfy our thirst with clean, fresh water.

34. My own, personal Bible. I can only imagine what it must be like to only be able to have a page or two of this precious book, knowing that I could be arrested if authorities found it in my possession. I pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ who daily experience such suffering as us American can often only imagine.

35. Internet access. When our connection was down for most of the day, it was easy to see how it can be taken for granted (esp. with important emails and documents coming through!). It is a blessing, indeed, to be able to have such a resource at our fingertips where we can so easily share information.

36. Thanksgiving. I enjoy Thanksgiving Day. For several years at least, I have been in charge of the Thanksgiving meals. I love to bake and cook food for my family to enjoy. To me, Thanksgiving hasn't had that sickening commercialism that has been directed at Christmas and Easter (well, at least not as much...). It is a time to spend in enjoying my family's company and good food. Not that we aren't to be thankful year-round, but having a specific day helps remind us to take nothing for granted.

37. Sewing machines. I can't imagine the hours that must have been spent in previous centuries slaving away with needle and thread!

38. Debates and discussions. Listening to 'em is almost as fun as being a part of one. I usually have some sort of opinion on most things (someone usually starts laughing when I say I don't have an opinion on the matter ;-), so I like to discuss different topics with my family and those of my friends who have a mutual appreciation for such things.

39. Online copies of sermons. Yes, I enjoy listening to sermons. Depending on the mood I'm in or what I'm doing, I tend to listen to a fifty-fifty mix of sermons and music. My favorite pastor, unfortunately, hasn't had his sermon page updated in quite a while. But, several of his sermons were uploaded the other day so I've been immensely enjoying some more recent sermons of his. Hopefully more will follow.

40. Normal days. Those days where nothing out of the ordinary seems to happen. Why? Because it makes those extraordinary days that much more special. If something amazing and awesome (in the true sense of the word) happened everyday, would we not be dulled to a sense of wonder? It is out of those plain, ordinary days that our special days, the holy days, stick out. Sundays, Christmases, Thanksgivings...they are that much more special for not happening everyday.

There's my ten for the week. Your turn! :-)


19 November 2009

Eschatology and Everyday Life

I will start with a confession. I send myself emails. Before you start worrying, these emails are either to-do lists, reminders, or links I want to save or write about. So...this link has been sitting patiently in my inbox for the past few months. :-)

Another confession - I read the Left Behind books when I was younger. I experienced some of the same feelings described in both articles. What is the use of marrying, raising children, etc. if the world is coming to an end anyway? By Yahweh's Grace, over time a vision for future generations was revealed to me.

Some would argue against frivolous doctrines. There are some doctrines that affect our daily lives more than others, and I think our eschatology is one of those that actively influence how we view our day-to-day lives. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Those with generational visions these days can be few and far between. I am blessed to have at least a few friends in my age group who would share my vision. I am thankful everytime I meet a family with a vision for future generations.

Now that you've heard my musings, read the following article (and the article linked to therein) and tell me your thoughts. Half of this blog is to hear input of my friends, I don't blog just to tell everyone my opinion. A good, hearty discussion is so much better any day. ;-)


With Thankfulness,
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12 November 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Yep, it's Thursday again! I have a few posts in my head that I haven't been able to put to paper (or keyboard ;-) yet. Hopefully I'll be able to actually post something instead of Thursdays taking over my blog!

21. Practically unlimited access to a wealth of information. Though it's easy for us to be on information overload, I am so thankful for the ease and accessability at just a few clicks of a button to answers I'm looking for - from how many tablespoons is in an ounce, to a list of scriptures support Calvinism. 

22. Those sweet times when I'm holding Janae and Jasmine. It is so sweet to be able to cuddle with a baby and toddler. Makes me look forward to having children of my own someday, Lord willing.

23. Yahweh's sovereignty over the weather. Come rain, snow, or sunshine, Yahweh is in control of the weather, we have nothing to worry about!

24. My life. I am especially thankful for all the opportunities and training I've been able to receive at home that I know not every young lady has the pleasure of receiving.

25. My home. I recognize that not everyone is blessed with the abundance of room as my family has.

26. A washer and dryer that works. May sound silly at first, but think about the times when either a washer or dryer breaks! With larger families especially, it is not a pretty sight. ;-)

27. All my brothers and sisters. I can't imagine being an only child. I love my siblings, they assure me of never a quiet moment around here.

28. Books. I love books. Online copies can never replace wandering through a bookstore, permeated with the smell of books.

29. Loving parents who have raised me in the fear of the Lord.

30. Our ability to taste. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go burn your tongue and you'll see what I mean. ;-)

By Yahweh's Grace,

Humor for Lexophiles

If you don't know what a lexophile is then this post probably isn't for you. ;-) I found a copy of this when I was going through some of my papers, and decided to share it with all y'all who may not have seen it yet. It makes me laugh everytime. Unfortuately, I can not take credit for writing this. Enjoy!


I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A .

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

A calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

05 November 2009

Thankful Thursdays

11. Nineteen years of life.
12. The opportunity for a dear friend to visit us in NC.
13. Sneaky little sisters. ;-)
14. The opportunity to vacation on an empty beach during some lovely weather.
15. My simply awesome family.
16. Yahweh's never-ending mercy.
17. Janae learning to sit through church. (Still working on the 'quietly' part!)
18. Good surprises.
19. My mobility. I can walk, run, and dance without thinking twice about it.
20. Safe travels while we've been on the road.

With a thankful heart,

29 October 2009

Thankful Thursdays

That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

- Psalm 26: 6-7
No, Thursdays aren't the only days we should be thankful, but it is the day I've decided to post each week ten things for which I am thankful. What better way to harbour thankfulness than to have a list of specific items? Feel free to join me by posting your own set of thanks on your blog!

I am thankful for:

1. Christ living the perfect life for me, and died for my sins.
2. The precious little bundle I am holding in my arms.
3. Sweet fellowship with dear friends.
4. Hospitality - both being and receiving.
5. The amazingly wonderful family Yahweh has given me.
6. The ability to walk.
7. Being able to meet and fellowship with all my "online friends" (except for one!).
8. Safety and protection over my family.
9. The freedom to read God's Word without fear of being arrested.
10. All the hands-on childrearing/training I've been able to experience.

With a Grateful Heart,

23 October 2009

What a Week!

Dear friends, thank you for your prayers! My family is headed home with the newest addition. She is absolutely adorable! After this whirlwind week, this still just doesn't seem real. God has been overwhelmingly awesome (in the real meaning of the word). While His ways aren't always my ways, I have seen Him work everything together for my good. Everything necessary for us to do in Wichita was completed in about twenty-seven hours and we were able to take the opportunity to visit some very special, dear, sweet, amazing friends. After relishing their refreshing company and delightful hospitality for twenty-four hours we are safely headed on our way home. Everything will probably start sinking in when we reach home! The eight hundred photos will be sorted through and the best will make it to Facebook. If you aren't on there and want a peek, let me know and I'll send you a link to the pictures. Please continue to pray for baby, our safe travels, health and also for the adjustment period. Thankfully, Janae adores her new "baby doll" - perhaps a little too much, as she always wants to be kissing baby! ;-) Like I said, pictures soon!

May Yahweh Richly Bless,
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21 October 2009

The Road Goes Ever On

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.

Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

-- J R R Tolkien

The first exciting happening on our trip to Kansas, was a stop for dinner in Crossville, TN. A pen pal of mine lives not very far away, and we were able to meet there for dinner. I am always nervous about meeting people in person that I've only known online. Being inclined toward being an introvert myself, I find it quite strained and awkward to try and hold a conversation with someone of few words. In my experience, introverts are more drawn electronic means of communication. Anyway, my family enjoyed some wonderful fellowship with them. I'm so thankful Yahweh worked everything out so we could meet. He is good!

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20 October 2009

"If You're Not Dancing, You're Wasting Your Feet"

If you know me, you know how much I enjoy dancing. Not just any dance, but particularly English Country Dance. I've been a member of a local dance group for about three years now. Through ECD, I've met several amazing people, including a certain dear Texas family. :-) What I've recently been introduced to is Contra Dancing. I had heard of it before, but never really knew what exactly it was. Since contra was going to be part of an ECD weekend, the dancing members of my family visited a local contra group to get a "head start". As it usually goes with dance, we were hooked. :-) This particular group has a wonderful wood floor, live music, great callers and good dancers.

Contra dance is a bit difficult to describe. It has been described as "making your own amusement park ride", "how many spins can you incorporate" and "how dizzy can you get". Unlike ECD, there is a lot of room for variation and improvisation. Extra spins and stomps can be incorporated at will. It's definitely an excellent source of exercise. ;-) The first time I did contra, it just about doesn't make sense. Once you've done it a few times and have learned the basic moves, it is a lot of fun adding the "decorations". After a couple of months, I have finally gotten the hang of it and am able to dance as a guy. The man's part is almost more fun than the lady's!

So now you've read more about contra dance than you probably wanted to know. ;-) But, if it's enough to convince you to try it, my mission is accomplished. If you're already hooked, I'm looking forward to reading your gushing comment about how much fun contra dancing is. :-)
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While I'm Waiting...

Here's a delayed post that I'm finally getting around to posting!

There is an ever-widening gap these days between high school and marriage. Marriage is delayed first for college, then until the debt incurred from college is paid off, and then further while a house is bought and/or a well paying job is secured. We delay until we feel completely prepared and everything is in place. But in reality the reading, preparation and study are useless until you can actually start applying them.

Now, that probably sounds like I don't think you should prepare at all. On the contrary, I am dismayed at the lack of preparation of young people for marriage. I am merely throwing out the thought that maybe some are delaying marriage because they don't feel completely prepared. These are just some of my musings.

I wish I saw more young ladies preparing for marriages, not careers. I am weary of the cultural norm that everyone should go to college after high school. While the aim should be growing up learning these various duties, I do think that after graduation there should more study made into being a homemaker (unless you're a guy, then it should be maturity and leadership). I would suggest first being knowledgeable about the care and keeping of a household - things like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, beautifying the home, meal planning, child rearing, etc. - before seeking out a higher education. I think it's preferable to have a good foundation in those areas before marriage. I truly enjoy the circumstances Yahweh has placed me in - I have had hands-on experience with most everything pertaining to babies because of my now eighteen month old sister, I can see how different schooling methods work as I help my younger brothers with their school, and just learn the general care of a household. I realize not everyone can have the experiences I've had (though I do think if you don't have any younger siblings, you should consider helping someone who has young children so to gain that experience - and I would venture to say that applies to men and women), but I do think there ought to be some sort of preparation in those areas. We shouldn't wait to prepare, but should prepare while we wait! I've obviously addressed more of the ladies side of the issue, but the idea of preparation applies to the gentlemen, too.

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Travel Diaries: Kansas!

To get the updates that I neglect, you can hop on over to http://mauneyfamily.blogspot.com/

We headed out this afternoon on our eighteen hour road trip. Praise God, the ICPC (interstate clearances) is approved! This means we won't be stranded in Kansas, waiting for clearance to head home. Please continue to pray for safety as we travel, healing for the sick ones among us, for good travel time and for the baby.

Stayed tuned for more updates from the road! :-)

Soli Deo Gloria,
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14 October 2009

09 October 2009

Mark Regnerus on Early Marriage

I will post some of my thoughts later, but in the meantime enjoy reading these links:

Say Yes: What Are You Waiting For? by Mark Regnerus

The Case for Early Marriage by Mark Regnerus

Where are the Men? Thoughts on The Case for Early Marriage by Samuel Kordik.


03 October 2009

The "Gift" of Singleness

Frequently today, marriage is postponed or delayed. Too many are putting off marriage until their thirties and even forties. You are expected to meekly wait until the right one more or less falls directly into your lap instead of actively searching for a spouse. While I believe that there does exist those truly called to celibacy, they are few and far between. Prolonged singleness, however, does not equal celibacy.

Who is to blame for the recent rise in number of singles, especially those older in age? Though I think there is percentage of blame that rests on families, I believe that it is foremostly the church. In nearly every church, you will find a single adults group. While these can be used to promote marriage amount there members and helping them find suitable mates, they often end up doing the opposite. Through these groups, one can fill up there schedules so that you are never lonely, never have a chance to consider marriage. Often the predominate thinking there - as well as elsewhere - is that as a single, you are somehow more of service to God. In this day and age, avenues of service where marriage is an impediment are few. Being single does not make one holier. Yes, there are daily distractions in marriage, but they are just as many - perhaps more, since there is none to share them with - than in the single state. Once our churches return to scriptural teaching in the area of marriage and singleness, I believe the resulting change would overflow to many different aspects of our culture.
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A Debtor to Mercy Alone

I recently was introduced to this hymn by a friend, and immediately loved with it. The hymn is short, yet sweet, and its richness speaks to our weary souls. Go here to get a sampling of the tune of the hymn.

A Debtor to Mercy Alone
by Augustus M. Toplady

A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do;
My Savior’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.

My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heav’n.

Yahweh Bless,

02 October 2009

A New Look

There's a time for everything, including upgrading the look of one's blog! :-) I finally got around to choosing a proper template for my blog, and harmonizing the colors. The results are a fresh, lighter look - if I do say so myself! So all my Google Reader friends, hop on over, take a peek, and let me know what you think!

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26 September 2009

Saturday Psalm & Praise: Jesus! What a Friend For Sinners

The hymn I've chosen for this week is "Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!". If you are unfamiliar with the tune, then click on the link below for a rough feel of what this lovely hymn sounds like. It it one of my favorites!

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.


Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.


Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.


Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.


Jesus! I do now receive Him,
[or Jesus! I do now adore Him,]
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.



Names of God: Jehovah Tsidkenu

Jehovah Tsidkenu
(yeh-ho-vaw' tsid-kay'-noo)

The Lord Our Righteousness

Yahweh is our righteousness. Jesus lived the perfect life on earth so that we don't have to. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might become the righteouss of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) I am so grateful for God's divine mercy on us, through the gift of His son!


22 September 2009

My Bookshelf

I don't know about y'all, but I have a tendency to read more than one book at a time. Right now, my reading shelf consists of The Lord's Day, Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Getting Serious about Getting Married and How Should We Then Live. All non-fiction...I know, I'm weird. :-p Occasionally I read fiction, though it's been a while. Last one I've read was a great book called November by J William English. Up next, I hope to finish Les Miserables. It's the unedited version, so it's taking me a while. I don't usually want to read edited books, but this is one where I feel like it'd be necessary. :-)

Keep an eye out, I'm working on a post addressing some of the things I've been reading in Getting Serious about Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness. A great book, I would recommend it to both women and men. So brace yourselves!
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Monday Nights in Charlotte

For those who don't know, there is a great contra dancing group up in Charlotte that meets every Monday night. Check out the website here. For those who don't know what contra dancing is...well, it isn't exactly the easiest thing to explain. Some say it's like an amusement park ride that you make for yourself. Others would say it's seeing how many different ways and times you can spin. It has some English Country dance elements in it - like heys, rights and lefts, and courtesy turns - but it is a bit more rambunctious. I say you just need to come join us and find out for yourself!

19 September 2009

Names of God: Jehovah Shammah

(yeh-ho-vaw' shawm'-maw)
The Lord Is There

The Lord is there. Just think on that amazing thought for a moment. Yahweh, maker of heaven and earth, is always there, ready to listen and eager to talk with us. He is with us all day, everyday. He is with us as we gather together to worship Him tomorrow. Remember that the one who we worship is there with us as we sing His praises and worship Him on His day!

In Yahweh,

16 September 2009

Future Generations

I've had this in my blogger drafts for a while - I'm just now getting around to posting it! In it, you will find seven suggestions for praying for future generations. Just think of the rich heritage you can bless future generations with!

(You can read the original here.)

Seven Generational Prayers

Our Visionary Womanhood group is going to be watching the first two DVD's in the DVD set entitled, How To Disciple Your Family. Wow. This conference is amazing and chock full of greatness. Here is just one little treasure...a list of "generational" prayers to pray for your children AND the next 7 generations after. Doug Phillips shares that one of his ancestors prayed that there would be no divorce in his future posterity...and since he lived, there has been NO DIVORCE in that family line. Imagine what God would be pleased to do if His people could, by faith, begin thinking and praying generationally again. That is what this conference is all about. I HIGHLY encourage you to get it and watch it. Go to the Vision Forum Website and type in How To Disciple Your Family.

And now here are seven prayers. We've decided that to pray these prayers on our Monday Morning Fast and Pray times...means that we ARE praying for the future revival of our country. The future of this world lies in what Christ will do through out posterity. Start praying!

1. Pray that God would save the souls of the children early in life.
2. Pray that the children would be faithful covenant keepers with God.
3. Pray for Christ-loving spouses for all children and that there would be no divorce for 200 years.
4. Pray that the children would continue to home educate, following the Biblical/Hebrew model for discipleship.
5. Pray that the wombs of the daughters and daughters’-in-law would be blessed with a multitude of covenant keeping children.
6. Pray that God would bless and make fruitful the dominion labor of the family in all its generations.
7. Pray that the children would honor their fathers and mothers and be faithful to the vision that their fathers give them.

11 September 2009

I Remember

I remember this morning eight years ago. I remember watching the footage, my ten year old mind not quite grasping the implications or changes that it the attack would cause. I remember seeing those looking for their loved ones - their sisters, sons, friends. The raw emotion felt when faced with never seeing them again, never having that chance at a final "I love you. " or "Goodbye". The emotions one woman faced at the lose of her sister, whom she had fought with and hadn't talked to in years. I remember the television being turned off and gathering in prayer. The prayer vigils. The unity felt across America through our shared grief. I remember the day that changed the future of America forever. I remember.

04 September 2009

Saturday Psalm and Praise: Psalm 119X

This week's Psalm is Psalm 119X. I don't recall hearing this Psalm before I sang it at BWSC '09, but I really enjoyed it. Then again, I enjoy just about any Psalm or Hymn that is sung in parts! It is definitely one of my favorites now. I'm very thankful to have a recording of Psalm 119X (and Psalm 98A) so that I can sing it anytime I like. The first line of the second half of each verse is sung first by the bass, then the tenors jump in, then the altos, and finally the sopranos. I'm sure it sounds quite confusing, but it is actually quiet easy to sing when you know which part you sing. I only wish I could share the music with you, but alas, all I have is the words. Enjoy this week's Psalm!

Psalm 119X

Before Thee let my cry come near,
O Lord; true to Thy word, teach me.
Before Thee let my pleading come;
True to Thy promise rescue me.

Since Thou Thy statutes teachest me,
O let my lips Thy praise confess.
Yea, of Thy word my tongue would sing,
For Thy commands are righteousness.

Be ready with Thy hand to help,
Because Thy precepts are my choice.
I’ve longed for Thy salvation, LORD,
And in Thy holy law rejoice.

O let Thine ordinances help;
My soul shall live and praise Thee yet.
A straying sheep, Thy servant, seek,
For Thy commands I ne’er forget.

Soli Deo Gloria,

03 September 2009

Eggplant Delight

One of my favorite vegetables to cook with is eggplant. However, I wanted to do something new with it for dinner, so I experimented with a different mix of vegetables than I usually use, and cooked them in a different way. I'm posting my 'recipe' here, in case anyone else feels crazy enough to try it, and so I'll have it in a place that won't get lost. ;-) Admit it, the pictures makes your mouth water. Come on...you know it does!

Eggplant Delight

1 large eggplant
1 beet
2 cups spinach (I just used a couple of handfuls)
1 onion
1 cup sliced olives (mine were leftovers from tacos!)

1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. basil leaves
meat of your choice (cooked)

Chop the eggplant, beet, and onion. Combine all ingredients except for the spinach and saute on high until the eggplant is done cooking. Add the spinach and continue sauteing until the spinach is slightly wilted. Serve over rice or couscous. Approx. 8 servings.

I used a griddle to cook this, which was the easiest method for me. This is very quick and easy, and I will certainly be playing with it more in the future. If you try it out, let me know!

Soli Deo Gloria,

02 September 2009


Have you ever noticed the constant barrage of noise that the average American is bombarded with daily? Just think of the size of today's music industry - we have iTunes, iPods, iPhones and MP3 players to make sure we never have a quiet minute. It would almost appear as if we are afraid of silence, afraid of having nothing to do. Have we simply know no other way and accept it as a cultural norm? Or are we afraid of what might happen when we hit the off button?

Our bodies becomes accustomed to the familiar noises we are normally surrounded with. I'm certain everyone can think of a time when it suddenly struck them that something was missing, out of balance because a familiar source of noise had become silent. The most dominant circumstances that this happens in is when we are trying to fall asleep in a new place. We can feel that something, be it the stead whirr of a fan, hum of a computer, trickle of an aquarium filter, or even the spinning of a hamster wheel, is missing. Even when we think it is quiet, there is usually some sort of background noise, whether we are aware of it or not. When devoid of all noise, a room begins feels lonely, lost, forgotten and can stir up the same feelings in us.

We may not need the drastic silence of a Benedictine monastery, but I have recently become convinced that we really need some sort of silence every day. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think it's wrong to turn on something to listen to - I have my own often-used iPod filled with music, sermons and lectures - but to not have a constant bombardment of these things. Times of silence cultivate reflection and meditation on Yahweh, His Word, and His character. It can give us an opportunity to intercede for others in prayer, and to both talk to our Father and to listen to Him. Perhaps we can also use that time when we are busy with our hands but not our minds, to cultivate friendships and to encourage other believers. If you don't do so already, I dare you to try it. Enjoy your music, sermons, lectures, audio books, but just once daily, instead of hitting "play" to fill the silence, let the silence remain.

By Yahweh's Grace,

29 August 2009

Names of God: Jehovah-Rapha

(yeh-ho-vaw' raw-faw')

The Lord That Heals

Jehovah-Rapha is the healer. Not just the healer of the carnal need of our body, but He is a healer of our emotions as well. Think of Jesus' ministry while on this earth. He healed broken bodies, making the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the lame to walk. Later on, He focused on healing the people's emotional side - opening their spiritual eyes, healing their spiritual ears to be able to hear the truth. May we be always open to receiving the healing that only Jehovah-Rapha can give.

By Yahweh's Grace,
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BWSC: God's Major Medium (Dr. Pipa)

This is the very last BWSC post. It took several months, but it is finally complete. With some posts, I have listening to the lectures again to better sum up my note, while other less fortunate posts are simply my typed-up notes. I hope they have been enjoyable and enlightening for all to read, and I hope to see everyone, Yahweh willing, at the next BWSC in 2010!

- - - - - -

2 Timothy 3:10-4:5

Preaching is God's primary means of grace. It is:

1. Essential work.

2. Extreme urgency

3. Eternal importance

1. The pulpit is a proclamation of God's Word. It is explanation and application. Let the passage shape itself shape the sermon. This method should be used for the majority of sermons. Preaching must address the heart, not using the pulpit as a bully pulpit.

2. (2 Timothy 4:2) Regardless of the circumstances, preach the word. Verses 3-4 - "they" are us, the church. The blame isn't just on seminaries, but on the people of God. Not only the preachers, but the people should have a sense of urgency.

3. (2 Corinthians 5 - we must all appear before Christ). Each one of us will be judged for every thought and deed. We should be praying for our ministerops.

BWSC: Getting Dirty Without Being Unclean: Being in the World, But Not of it (Dr. Jehle)

Where do you go from here?

If Christians don't being to serve in the community now, it'll be harder later.

Gal. 6:14 - the two-fold work of the cross is separation (the world crucified unto me) and influence (I crucified unto the world).

Jesus' prayer for the church - John 17:16. The church is to be separate from the world - not isolated, but able to make contact with them. John 17:17 - Sanctified by the Word. John 17:18 - Sent into the world.

The degree to which you are separate and sanctified is the degree to which you can influence the culture.

Be prepared to be sent. You will never know where you are if you stay within your "group". Separation is never isolation, it is insulation.

1. Separate from the world.

1 John 2:15-17.

Pleasure - lust of the flesh

Power - lust of the eyes

Pride - pride of life

2. Sanctified by the Word.

Gal. 6:7-9

- take time to re-write and summarize notes from this week.

- what am I going to do to make sure I am growing in God day by day.

- what you sow, you reap. What are you sowing now in your heart and mind?

- where do you sow - spirit or flesh? Pray through your neighbourhood.

- if you don't go anywhere, it stagnates and you puff up in knowledge.

- how you sow, you reap.

3. Sent into the world.

Matthew 5:13

- you are salt. Salt preserves, causes thirst, seeps in. You are salt first. Salt lasts longer than light. Every time you want to be light, you have to be salt about fives as much. Don't lose your savor by being inactive or silent.

- those who serve, lead. If they don't see us in town, how can we expect to see them in church?

The church and the culture:

1 Timothy 3:15

- pillars are vertical, pure of doctrine and behaviour.

- ground is horizonal.

Serving your city:

Proverbs 8:1-3

- stand in the "high place" - intercession

- a place at the "crossroad" - infuence

- a voice at the "gate" - serve strategically.

BWSC: A Call for Modern Day Abrahams and Sarahs: The Current Economic Crisis and the Christian Response (Dr. Roach)

We are turning outward rather than upward (horizontal rather than vertical). When we fail to look upward, we end up losing our liberty.

1. Changes in laws
- Sarbanes Oxley, repeal of Glass Steagall Act
- Leverage limits
- forced assets to be marketed to market

2. Changes in behaviour
- "no-doc" loans
- improper pricing of risk

3. Changes in trends
- house prices began to fall from their peak
- U.S. dollar and crude oil prices

4. Changes in government activism
- Troubled Assest Relief Program (TARP)
- fiscal activism

Rates fell so borrowing costs spiked
- no-doc loans
- repacking of loans to re-sell
- structured investment vehicles (SIVs). Borrow in the short-term credit markets and invests in the long-duration credit markets

Historical Context
1. Pressure to originate loans to the poor.
- mid 90s
- risk was taken on by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac

2. Decline in assets pushed ratings down. Collateral and asset base fell.

The Christian Response:
Amos 3:6
Daniel 4

The Lord allows "bad things" to occur throughout our lifetime.

Luke 13

The most involved and most affected by the crisis are no more "guilty" than the rest of us if we are covetous.

Hebrews 13:15 - God is faithful.
Eph. 5:3, Col. 3:5

There may be an inverse correlation between debt and contentment.

1 Peter 3:6 - Be a modern-day "daughter of Sarah".

1 Timothy 6 - Be a modern-day "son of Abraham".
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BWSC: Liturgy (Dr. Pipa)

Psalm 134

The elements of worship are the acts/way the church goes about organizing worship.

The different forms of liturgy are:
1. Imposed liturgy - such as the Anglican and Episcopal
2. Discretionary liturgy - developed in the Reformation. Scotland and Geneva would be examples.
3. Rubrical provision - directions without examples. (Scottish and American Presbyterians)
4. Entire freedom - leaves it all to the option of the minister. (Scottish, American Presbyterians, Evangelicals)

Liturgy is forms, not elements. We aren't going to find in scripture a particular order.
1. Are all forms equally suited to express Presbyterian convictions?
2. Is the emotive power of forms being taken seriously enough?
3. Are the forms of the Reformed tradition being taken seriously enough?

Covenants are central to our theology. In worship, a dialogue is taking place between God and His people.

Principles: the benedictions, the ten words, public reading of the word, the votum, creed, prayers, offertory, singing.

Gospel cycles:
A cycle of praise.
A cycle of confession.
Means of Grace (sacraments, scripture, sermon, intercessory prayer, thanksgiving and blessing)

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BWSC: Law of Nations Part Two (Dr. Jehle)

History illustrates the word of God.
Law of Nations came out of the Reformation. The Golden Rule is the one verse that can be used to describe the Law of Nations.

If there is a tyrannical dictator, we should be aware of it, publish the evil, and send in missionaries.

- Nations are extensions of individuals
- God's Law is the framework for a nation's domestic and foreign policy
- God's Covenant is the model for international treaties
- God governs nations by the law of the nations, from the bottom up, inside out.

America's original foreign policy
1. No interdependence. (Sovereignty)
2. No intermeddling. (Neutrality)
3. No intervention. (Interposition)

The War of Northern Aggression was the turning point of America's foreign policy. We began to think from the top down.

PanAmerica was a trend toward interdependence. Annexation of Hawaii was a trend toward colonization and intermeddling. The Spanish-American War was towards colonization and interventionism.

You don't have true freedom unless you are free to fail.

The League of Nations was an international government renouncing war, yet at the price of justice (peace without victory).

The three things that dominated U.S. Foreign Policy in 1950-1970 were:
Appeasement (Interdependence)
Containment (Intermeddling)
Disarmament (Interventionism)
Today we are seeking to spread democracy through these three ways.
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BWSC: The Blessed Day of Worship (Dr. Pipa)

Isaiah 58:13-14

A vital observance of the Christian sabbath is the means to promote piety in our lives.

1. Special Blessings (vs 14)
The first blessing is delight in the Lord (to have Him as an exquisite treasure). The second blessing is victory. (Deu. 33:29) A third blessing is the experiential enjoyment of who and what you are. It is possible to have an inheritance and not enjoy the blessings of it. Who and what you are in Jesus is our inheritance (Justification, Adoption, Sanctification). The enjoyment of these things is feeding on our inheritance. No three things better promised to Christians than these.
Sabbath commemorates two things:
Creation - reminder that creator God is our God.
Redemption - God's great love for sinners.

The Sabbath is a means of strength, grace. The church is in the place she is today because of the rejection of God's Holy Day.

2. Relates Blessing to Sabbath (vs. 13)

Conditional Promises (if. . .then)
The Sabbath is holy to the Lord. God kept the Sabbath. He declared it full, perfection of creation. Contemplated it, took joy in it. Declaring a promise to us.

It is a day to take delight in the Lord, to prepare to eternal rest.

What does it mean when God blesses a thing? He is 'wiring' them to do the thing He created it to do.

There is two element to the law of God. There is the moral law of God - eternally, perpetually binding - and the positive law of God - His will as He governs His people.

You should desist from your own ways. Outside of things necessary, avoid one's work and causing others to work. It is a privilege to deny ourselves for Christ's sake.

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BWSC: Hamilton vs. Jefferson: Monitoring Monetary Movement (Dr. Roach)

What is money?
- store value
- medium of exchange
- unit of account

Types of money?
- commodity money
- representative money
- Fiat money

Central Banking debate:
Alexander Hamilton (who came from a poor background) vs. Thomas Jefferson (who came from a richer background).

Alexander Hamilton
- wanted a stronger national government, not states
- wanted a nation bank
- called for a president for life
- drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation

Thomas Jefferson
- concerned about too much control, not enough balance
- in favor of state's rights
- held to a strict interpretation of the Constitution
- favored weak central government
- opposed a national bank

History of central banking
Hamilton won out the debates and the first bank was established in 1791 for twenty years.
- second bank - 1816
- ended national business charter in 1836
- 1840-1850: hard money, free banking
- National banking acts of 1863, 64, 65
- A monopoly was formed in the guise of opposition to monopoly

Gold Standard Act of 1900
- standard for redemption of paper money
- allowed more elastic currency
- forbid use of silver and other precious metals

Gold Exchange Standard
- pseudo gold standard
- most countries kept reserves in a base currency

Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was instigated by the panic of 1907.

Federal Reserve Banks:
- only congress can create money
- Fed is quasi-private, government-sanctioned bank that issues "bills of credit" on behalf of Congress.

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BWSC: How to Talk to Your Parents About Their Sin (Dr. Priolo)

1. Get the beam out of your own eye first (Matthew 7:3-5). Apologize for own sins first. Not in a generic way, you need to name the sin - be specific and identify.

How to ask for forgiveness (not just apologizing).
A. Acknowledge that you have sinned.
B. Identify your sin by its biblical name.
C. Identify alternative biblical behaviors.
D. Ask for forgiveness.

2. Ask your parents for their help.

Sinful responses to reproof:
A. Despising reproof.
B. Refusing reproof.
C. Hating reproof.

Righteous responses to reproof:
A. Turning reproof.
B. Hearing reproof.
C. Regarding reproof.

3. Be sure that what your parents really do is a sin.

4. Examine your motives.

5. Use Biblical terminology.

6. Choose the right time.

7. Choose the right words.

8. Be sure to maintain a gentle spirit.

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BWSC: Law of Nations Part One (Dr. Paul Jehle)

Our constitution states that "our foreign policy is subject to the law of the nations.".

Joseph Story on the study of the law of the nations: " What God requires of individuals among themselves, He requires of nations. "

Ps. 22:27-28 - The kingdom is the Lord's
Eph. 2:2; 6:12 - the devil's kingdom is top down, while Christ's is bottom and moves on up (from the individual, then families, then churches, etc. ).

Matthews 5:14-16
God governs the nations from the inside out.
Psalm 19 - Law of nature and Law of God rule the world.
1. Individual conscience according to God's Word.
2. Nations are extensions of individuals (Genesis 10).
3. God opposes centralized governments above the nations (Genesis 11).
4. God judges a nation by the condition of His people (inheritance) within it (Ps. 33:12).
5. God's people are called to disciple the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).

Biblical covenants are the foundation for nation treaties. Three things contained in every covenant are sanctity, sanction, and redemption.

A nation's domestic policy guides its foreign policy:
Loving God (domestic policy) flows into Christian self-government.
Loving neighbour (domestic policy) flows into a voluntary union with others.

Deeper covenants set precedents for broader ones. Marriage is the second highest covenant.

Regarding rogue nations - nations are governed from the bottom up, thus the people must become strong enough to take out that tyrant. Other nations shouldn't be interfering unless the "bully" attacks them first.

The Just War Doctrine:
There must be just cause for war and just conduct in war. Every war since WWI has been an unjust war because they hadn't been declared by the proper authority.

Matthew 7:12 is a summary of the law of nations.
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28 August 2009

BWSC: Chief Justice John Roberts: Property Rights and Economics - Who owns all this stuff?

- Would anyone want to do business in a land with no legal structure?

- Are there Christian necessities for a healthy marketplace?

Biblical Principles for Economics:
1 Kings 3:16-28 - Just Judges
- well defined property rights
- the right to refuse
- the right to to sell/bequest

8th commandment:
- Protects your own "harvest".
- Corresponds to the 3rd commandment.

Property rights, etc.
-limited rule (Ps. 50:10-12).
-stewardship concept (Matthew 25:14-30)

The wise steward:
-there is only one who has total ownership.
-stewardship/ownership is antithetical to laziness - Proverbs 6:9-11; Proverbs 13:11

Property Rights
Ronald Coase
-economist at University of Chicago
-transaction costs
-minimal impediments to bargaining.

Tight property rights help protect asset values (renters vs owners).

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BWSC: Joining the Generations: Subduing the Enemy in the Gates (Dr. Jehle)

Why does God join the generations?

The home is the platform for the future. 2 Timothy 1:5 - joining the generations is how God preserves His covenant from generation to generation (Psalm 8:2).

Psalm 78:5-7 - Hope will diminish when the generations aren't joined. Faithful adults training their children lead to youth equipped to train their children and together they're filled with hope for the future.

Ps. 127:4-5 - Bows and Arrows. Parents are the bows while the children are the arrows.

Ps. 128:2-3 - Labor and Fruit.

Ps. 144:1, 12-15 - War and Prosperity. Adults must be willing to fight for truth. Sons are like plants, daughters like pillars and together they are fruitful and filled with peace. It starts in the home, but it doesn't end there.

Listen, have a heart to learn, then pour into the next generation.

- Seek to be joined with adults (begin at home, the home is the practice place).
- Embrace a linear vision - honor those who have gone before you, minister to those behind.
- Your greatest need is to join the generations, starting at home, not socializing with peers.
- Seek opportunities to serve your elders and uphold the hands of the needy.
- Embrace youth ministry and missions (get in the game) rather than socialized youth groups (insignificant activities).
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BWSC: Covenantal Continuity (Dr. Paul Jehle)

What is your responsibility to future generations? What you do with your life right now will affect generations.

Gal. 3:6-9 - Two modes of the gospel: Receive and Give. (Genesis 12:1-2)

Abraham's righteousness was by faith. We are covenantal children of Abraham. The blessing of the gospel is two-fold: In thee shall all nations <b>be</> blessed and They which be of faith <b>are</b> blessed.

Covenantal conditions to receive a blessing: Genesis 17:10 and Romans 2:29. Regeneration is the condition to receive.

Covenantal condition to being a blessing: Genesis 18:17-19. Covenantal continuity is the condition.

Covenantal continuity:
- God knows you (not just you knowing God)
- Radical surrender to His Lordship.
- Command (charge) his children and grandchildren (three generations).
- Passing the torch to the next generation

In the Old Testament, the third generation that was faithful was blessed and used by God.

- To keep the way of the Lord (heart). Guard your heart. If you can guard your heart, you can guide your head. Your mind rationalizes away that which is in your heart. Hold your heart and head accountable.
- Do justice (equity) and judgment (law). Knowing God's standards (worldview) and strategically and incrementally advancing the kingdom of Christ.

Matthew 28:19-20
- Go and teach (preach) - evangelism (receive)
- Teach to observe.

Foundation of the church:
Acts 2:38 - receive the gospel
Acts 3:25 - bless the nations
Only disciples are disciplined to be a blessing to all nations.

A disciplined learner (Matthew 28:18-20):
- Observe your mentor do something
- Assist them in doing something
- Lead while your mentor watches
- Release: you lead on your own.

Followers vs. Disciples
Luke 14:25-35
1. Love for Jesus exceeding all others. A passion so strong for Jesus that love for others looks like hate.
2. Self-denial. Not my will...but thine be done.
3. Count the cost to complete, not just begin.
4. Choose the most important battles.
5. Forsake all other distractions.
6. Stay salty - influence and preservation.

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BWSC: Unbiblical Forms of Communication (Dr. Priolo)

Unbiblical forms of communication:
- interruption (being quick to hear, slow to speak)
- inattentiveness (Proverbs 18:2; Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 4:1,2).
- judging motives
- blame shifting
- sweeping generalizations
- not communicating willingly
- disrespect
- lying
- grumbling & disputing
- sinful anger
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BWSC: Adam Smith - Seminary Collides with Wall Street (Dr. Jeff Roach)

A healthy marketplace has...

1. Right incentive structure (John 10:11).
We want to correct misaligned incentives

2. Free flow of good information (Proverbs 20:14).
We want to fix asymmetrical information (one party having more info that the other party - such as whether an item is in working condition or not)

3. Minimal impediments to bargain (Matthew 20:1-16).
We want to lower transaction costs.

4. Righteous justice system (Proverbs 13:22).

Adam Smith
- Your theology dictates your economics.
- The Reformation touched not just the church, but the marketplace.
- Magnify your "calling" (Col. 3:18-25).

Who is Adam Smith?
- One of the most critical names in economics.
- Didn't use "Capitalism".
- Seminary Student.
- Believed in 'Invisible Hand' - the mystical force that can "promote" an end which was no part of one's intention (Which as Christians, we would call Divine Providence).

Foundation for improvements:
- Division (specialization) of labor.
- Prices reflect the compensation for risk.
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BWSC: Learning to Communicate (Dr. Priolo)

Proverbs 15:2,28
Luke 6:45
Proverbs 18:20

The first step is to be willing for God's Spirit to wash you inside and out. There are over forty ways in the epistles on how we are to communicate.

Hindrances to revelation - why do we struggle to reveal ourselves?

- Fear (Genesis 3:7). Oftentimes, it is a fear of being hurt emotionally.
- Selfishness (1 John 4:18). Love is the antidote for selfishness, for love is giving.

- Pride. This sin carries the swiftest punishment.

Means of communication:

- words. Proverbs 12:18
- tone of voice. (Remember the Proverb about a soft answer turning way wrath?)
- non-verbal countenance. Our facial expressions can communicate pride, bitterness, etc. (Ps 42:11; Ps 43:5)
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26 August 2009

BWSC: The Elements of Worship (Dr. Pipa)

Acts 2:42,47

How doe we determine the elements of worship? Too often, we are confusing substance and form with the elements (such as what time the church service begins, pews or chairs, etc. ). The elements of worship, though, are the things that the Bible has mentioned as elements necessary for worship.

1 Corinthians 13:14 - not assigning meaning different than its natural use.

Circumstances must be consistent with scripture. Don't impose unnecessary rules.

Forms - the content of the prayers. The prayers must be Biblical, but the Bible doesn't regulate the content.

(A) Word - read, preached, recited, creeds, call to worship, votum & salvation, benediction. (Neh. 8; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:1-6; 2 Tim. 1:13,14; Ps. 121)

(B) Various forms of prayer: Lord's Prayer, Phil. 4:6, Eph. 6:18-20, Acts 2:42.

(C) Singing: Eph. 5:19 & 20, Col. 3:16 & 17, James 5:13, 1 Cor. 14:15, 26. The choir is the congregation. There is no place for solos, etc.

(D) Sacraments: Acts 2:42, 1 Cor. 11:23.

(E) Offerings: 1 Cor. 16:1-3 / Ps. 96:8, 72:10 / Hebrews 13:16.

(G) Special elements (vows, etc. ): Deu. 6:13, Ps. 22:25, Ps. 50:5.

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BWSC: The Flood in Scriptures - Dr. John Morris

Sadly, most colleges today - Christian included - hold to the local flood theory or that the flood was allegorical. However, there are two Biblical arguments in favour of a world-wide flood - there is the physical causes for the flood, and the need for the ark.

Genesis 7:11 - in creation, God separated the waters. We don't know exactly what that may have been. However, that water could've/would've rained down during the flood. Just think of all that water. There were the "fountains of the deep" whose break-ups lasted one hundred fifty days, causing continual tsunamis that reached up to one thousand feet high! The "windows of heaven" were opened. There was no rain before the flood, but now this world-wide water canopy would have collapsed.

A global cause implies a global event. If it wasn't global, then there was no need for an ark. Just think how silly that would've been, when people and animals could have simply walked and migrated to somewhere else. If the flood was local, that would make the end times judgement local, too.
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25 August 2009

BWSC: (Title Unknown) (Dr. Pipa)

(I missed writting down the title in my notes. Once I figure what the title is, I'll come back and edit this!y

Exodus 20

Second commandment - Yahweh alone has the right to regulate worship. If it is to be centered on God, we must do as He commands.

Vs. 4-6 Worship by revelation not human invention. Symbolic religious art isn't forbidden (think of the tabernacle), simply the likeness of the Trinity. 1 Peter 1:8 - none warrant whatsoever to make pictures of Christ/Trinity (i.e. dove).

The Biblical simplicity of worship is:
1. Not to worship through images.
2. To not worship others besides God through images (i.e. even NFL/Superbowl Sunday)
3. Worshiping the true God according to the practices of the Lord.

Revelation - we can worship only that which is revealed in scripture, not what scripture is silent on. It is not a matter of taste/culture - even if we are doing things that are necessary, yet we are doing it for tradition's sake, it is wrong.
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22 August 2009

Names of God: Jehovah-Raah

(yeh-ho-vaw' raw-aw')

The Lord My Shepherd, The Lord my Friend.

The Lord is my shepherd, my guide, my friend. The Bible says we are like sheep...and that's not a compliment. Quite frankly, sheep are some of the dumbest animals. The shepherd must keep a constant eye on them, leading them to green pastures and showing them fresh water to drink - do you realize oftentimes a sheep will die of thirst before drinking clean, fresh water simply because it sees it's reflection in the water! There are many references in the Bible about sheep and Christ as our shepherd. Jehovah-Raah is the name used in that well known Psalm, Psalm 23. Oh, how thankful I am to have Yahweh, Jehovah-Raah, to be my shepherd, to lead me in the way I should go. I look forward to worshiping my shepherd tomorrow on His day. I always feel that the Sabbath is over too soon, and long for that day when I shall be worshiping Him in His presence, surrounded by other saints, for eternity.

In Jehovah-Raah's tender care,
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15 August 2009

Names of God: Jehovah Nissi

Jehovah Nissi

(yeh-ho-vaw' nis-see')
The Lord My Banner, The Lord My Miracle

Yahweh is my banner, the flag under which I fight my battles with this world. I will hold my banner high to proclaim to the world whom I serve.

BWSC: Uprooting Bitterness: Uprooting the Root That Pollutes (Dr. Priolo)

Bitterness is essentially the result of not forgiving others (responding in the wrong). Hebrews 12:15 - When a seed of bitterness is planted, we need to forgive and "nip it in the bud" before it can take root.

Forgiveness (Luke 17:3-10):

1. Forgiveness is to be granted only if a <strong>sin</strong> has been committed against you.

2. Sometimes the offended party must initiate forgiveness. The one who knows, is the one who goes.

3. Forgiveness is costly.

4. Forgiveness is fundamentally a promise. Hebrews 8:1 - you will no longer hold their trespasses against them.

5. Forgiveness is not the same as trust. (The offender still has to earn back the trust. Holding back trust where it is deserved is wrong).

6. Forgiveness does not focus on secondary causes but on the sovereignty of God.

7. Forgiveness involves an act of the will - not emotions. Romans 12:7-21 - can only "fight" with good.

Things that depend on you:
Have I provoked him/her?
Have I protracted/aggravated his evil?
Have I prolonged the problem by not dealing with it correctly?
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12 August 2009

Names of God: Yahweh

(Better late than never, eh? ;-)

Lord, Jehovah

Yahweh is the name used of God more times than any other in the Bible - in fact, it occurs over six thousand times! Literally it means "He is", describing God's self-sufficiency. Yahweh doesn't need us to exists, He exists own his own, by His own power, and He will always exist for all eternity. It is amazing to think that Yahweh chose me, that He cares about me, that He loves a sinner like me!

By Yahweh's Grace,

03 August 2009

BWSC: Standing on Evidence From Mt. Saint Helens (Dr. John Morris)

This talk contained many picture visualizations, so you really had to just be there! ;-) However, he did make a really good point: the key to the young earth issue is Noah's Flood. The earth doesn't look old, but it does look flooded!

BWSC: Stop Treating Me Like A Child: Growing Into Adulthood (Dr. Lou Priolo)

What does it mean to be a teen? The meaning of adolescence is "the time between" - it is the time between being a child and an adult.

Adolescence is a recent invention. Earlier in history, you would be a child or a man - there was never an interim period between the two.

In our relationships with our parents in our young adult years, it is lessens in authority and subordination, and increases in friendship. More independence is desired, but we must remember that independence comes by trust - we must prove ourselves worthy to gain more independence.

BWSC: Joseph: A Prophet Becomes an Economist (Dr. Jeff Roach on Biblical Economics)

Economics is also know as "dismal science". Literally it means "House Law", "Management of a household". What is economics? It is the efficient allocation of scarce resources in a market place. It is a study of the markets.

What does a healthy marketplace have?

A. Right incentive structure.

B. Free flow of good information.

C. Minimal impediments to bargain.

D. Appropriate role for government (i.e. property rights and contract enforcer)

A healthy market place has individuals who are:

Loving participants

Honest; not bearing false witness; do and say the same thing

Not respector of persons

Respectful of others' property; not stealing


Why Joseph of all people? He probably had a similar background, and his personal qualities are worth emulating.

Joseph implements the proper role for collateral. (Genesis 47:13-25) In a similar situation in the US during 2001-2006, there was not enough considerations of risks, and that is why we are in this mess today.

Joseph dealt with the 'credit crisis' via temporary control of property He also instituted a 20% flat tax. This was the collateral (something to help offset risks) that he used.


Some of Joseph's personal qualities that we can emulate are:

Respect for what was not his; differed to God, and took no glory for himself.

Professional qualities:

Served his master well; delayed present consumption for future consumption

The Future

I've found that it can be so very easy to get caught up with the future - sometimes at the cost of missing out on the present. Thoughts and plans can fill the mind. Now don't get me wrong, planning for the future (while always keeping in mind, Lord willing) isn't always, but letting ourselves become consumed with it is. It can be tempting to dwell on what life will be like five, ten, twenty years from now...what will life look like - will I be single or married and with kids? You wonder, wouldn't it be easier if God could just give you a plan, a checklist for the next five years? Once you think about it though, if there was a simple checklist of what God had prepared for you in the future, how would we learn to trust in Him? Our very existence, our next breath that we draw are all gifts from above. Yes, we need to prepare for the future, but all the while serving God in the present.

The other side of this is living so completely in the present, that you take no mind in the future. I have to admit that I fell a bit into this trap when I was younger. Just recently I discovered how predominate this type of mindset may be in the churches today. It is the belief that Jesus will most likely be coming back soon, so why bother with things like marriage, children, good deed and building on those things that will last? Are we to become so arrogant that we put aside all other important parts aspects of our faith? It is necessary for us to invest for the future, to have a legacy for our future generations. For, who is to know when Christ shall return? Yes it may be tomorrow, or it could be a thousand years from now. The Bible tells us it will happen as a thief in the night. As Christians, we should be ready at any moment to meet our Savior, our Adonai face-to-face, but yet we need to be building foundations for the next generations. We need to be praying even now for those that may follow us, as past generations have done for us. We must find that delicate balance between the present and the future and stick to it until the end.

By Yahweh's Grace,

01 August 2009

Names of God: Adonai



Adonai means "Lord, Master". We can not serve two masters. I praise Adonai that He is my master and lord and I may serve Him!

Further information on the name Adonai (taken from a previously linked website):

Meaning and Derivation: Adonai is the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah. Adonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exd 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exd 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute for Yahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, "my lords' " (both plural and possessive).

31 July 2009

Save the Date!

2010 Biblical Worldview Student Conference dates have been released! May 31st thru June 5th, Johnson City, Tennessee. No excuses for not being there! ;-)

Soli Deo Gloria,

27 July 2009

BWSC: The Corporate Nature of Worship (Dr. Pipa)

Scripture reference is 2 Timothy 2

As mentioned in the previous sermon by Dr. Pipa, worship is corporate and participatory. The two questions answered in this lecture deal these two points of worship. In corporate worship, the leadership must be representative - thus, who's going to do it? Worship is participatory - what are some biblical ways to help us as people with bodies, and not just souls, to worship better?

Corporate worship implies that what we are doing, we are doing together and not individualistically. An example of this is the lifting of hands - we should be doing this corporately.

If worship is corporate, there has to be a leader acting on behalf of all. The question is, who is going to do it? Who is supposed to? As stated in verses 8-12, it men and not women who are to represent the congregation. Not because of chauvinists, but because God has appointed men to lead in corporate worship. If we delve deeper into the text, it is obvious that it is not just all men that are to lead, but approved men. It's quite clear that there's a special class of men that are to lead. First of all, they must be men approved by the church to have godliness and theological discernment. This is important because the congregation is to give their hearty assent to the prayer, yet how can we truthfully do that when what we have just heard isn't biblically sound? The man also has to have had authority placed on him from Christ, through the church, to lead the congregation. Finally, they must have a certain giftedness - "apt to teach", as Paul states it. We must keep in mind that the gift of public speaking do not come naturally for everyone.

Covenant worship is participatory, whether we are serving God as we follow the leader or in exercising further acts in unison, our hearts and minds are to be engaged in faith, love, and understanding in each act we do. We are worshiping God even as we are listening to His word being preached. We are to be exuberantly participating in worship. Too often there is a dullness in what is being done due to a lack of biblical, thoughtful order in worship.

We worship as bodies, and no just souls, thus our bodily postures in worship are important. Sadly, posture is often the most neglected point even in the most well-ordered churches. There is a tight string that connects our physical body and our soul - when we are depressed or excited, does it not affect our appetite? It is because of this connection that fasting is such an effective spiritual discipline. If the soul can affect the body in the such ways, the body can certainly affect the soul. Fasting creates an intensity for the soul to seek God more intently through prayer. So what are some things in the Bible that God has appointed for us to do with our bodies in worship?

One is the corporate amen after prayers and singing. 1 Corinthians 14:16 and Nehemiah 8:5 are scriptures that reference the corporate amen, which is the congregation's way of giving hearty assent. Since you will be called upon to give your hearty assent, you will pay close attention so that you may give it honestly. The corporate amen is like an exclamation point and has been described as a peal of thunder rumbling through the congregation.

The universal practice of the church has been to stand during the reading of God's Word as a sign of reverence. Regarding prayer, there are many references in the scriptures to standing, kneeling, or lying prostrate (though the first two are more commonly for corporate worship). Sitting during prayer is a more modern invention. To clarify, by saying it is in scripture does not mean that it is demanded or that to not do it is a sin, but to recognize that it a biblical, profitable and preferable means. Elders must exercise godly prudence for what is right for their congregation. The point is not for young people to go home and try to change their churches, but to keep in mind for the future. Yes, one can share with your elders and ask them to think about it, but that is the end of it. The purpose is not to become rebels.

Looking up is another posture. In all reality, there is not scripture reference for us to close our eyes. It may help to rid us of distractions, but if we are looking up it also helps to remove distractions. In the presence of the Supreme Ruler of heavens and earth, sometimes a bowed head is an appropriate sign of humility.

On the corporate lifting of hands, the bible is full of instruction for the congregation to do so. It is a good posture for prayer, both corporately and privately. It may be done representively, as the pastor lifts his hands on behalf of all. However, it is not to be done at the expense of sensitive souls.

Young people are the future leaders of the church. We need to learn about these things now, so we will have that knowledge when it is our turn to be the leaders in the church.

25 July 2009

El Elyon

El Elyon (el el-yone') - The Most High God

El Elyon - God is The Most High God, there are no others above Him. My God is greater than all other false gods. There is no one greater than my God, El Elyon. It is He who rules the heavens and earth, the sun, the moon and the stars. There is none like Him! No "god" is above Him - He is above all and rules all and in Him I can safely put my trust. Praise El Elyon that He sovereignly rules over all earth, including my own life! It amazes me that El Elyon is interested in my life, that He speaks with me, and that He sent His only, perfect son to die for me, sinner that I am! I thank El Elyon that He chose me, and I seek to glorify Him in all I do.

The following is copied from the site linked in the previous post:

Meaning and Derivation: El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Elyon literally means "Most High" and is used both adjectivally and substantivally throughout the Old Testament. It expresses the extreme sovereignty and majesty of God and His highest preeminence. When the two words are combined — El Elyon — it can be translated as "the most exalted God."(Psa 57:2)

Further references of the name El Elyon in the Old Testament: Gen 14:18; Gen 14:19; Gen 14:20; Gen 14:22; Psa 57:2; Psa 78:35

By His Grace,


19 July 2009

Names of God: El Shaddai

On Saturdays in preparation for Sunday worship, I have begun to look at the names of God. I have found this link to be of aid in my study. Beginning this week, I will be highlighting one of the names of God each week.

As we learn about His names, we begin to learn about the character of God. I am beginning this week with "El Shaddai" - All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty. All-sufficient to me means that He is all I need, He will take care of me. Though some may trust in man, I can and will put my trust in El Shaddai. Unlike man, He will never let me down, never leave me nor forsake me. He is all I need and I know He will take care of me. He is Lord God Almighty, ruler of all. I don't need to worry about anything, He has it all under control.

(The following info on the meaning of the name El Shaddai is from the above link)

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament El Shaddai occurs 7 times. El Shaddai is first used in Gen 17:1.

Variant spellings: None

TWOT Reference: 2333

Strong's Reference: 7706

El Shaddai in the Septuagint: theou saddai — God Shaddai; pantokratôr (for Shaddai) — the Almighty

Meaning and Derivation: El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning "breast" in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word Šadu, meaning "mountain," suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer.

Further references of the name El Shaddai in the Old Testament: Gen 17:1; Gen 28:3; Gen 35:11; Gen 43:14; Gen 48:3

Soli Deo Gloria,

07 July 2009

BWSC: "Reasons Why a Christian Shouldn't Believe in Evolution" - Dr. John Morris

Dr. Morris gave some very good lectures during the week. Having followed Ken Ham/Answers in Genesis for quite a while, a lot was review to me. However, it is always good to be reminded of biblical truths!

As Creationists, we shouldn't be seeking to "prove" that God's Word is true - we know that it is! What we need to be doing is seeking to interpret it.

What is the first reason why Christians shouldn't believe in evolution? Because it didn't happen! It has never happened, and never will. What we see instead is variety, not one species mutating into another. In fact, there are no helpful mutations! Mutations always result in missing information, not adding - and I'm sure everyone know that mutations are what evolution is built upon.

The ultimate authority for Christians - God's Word - declares that it happened a different way. Genesis 1 declares that God created "after its kind". . .ten times! No question about whether or not God used mutation there. Neither was it that each day stood for, say, a thousand years. The Hebrew word used for day is "yom". It is always used to describe a literal day in other passages in scripture.

This is no light matter. The very character of God is at stake when a Christian thinks it is okay to believe in evolution. Christianity's very cornerstone rests on the death of the most "fit" of all, Christ Jesus. And without Christ, all is naught.

03 July 2009

BWSC - The Nature and Purpose of Worship (Dr. Pipa)

I very much enjoyed Dr. Pipa's teaching on worship during the week. Worship is not a particular topic I have study before, so the ideas he presented in his lectures and sermons I found intriguing. This particular lecture was the first lecture of the week, given Monday evening. I've written up the following from my notes, but I would encourage you to listen to the audio for yourselves (I will be posting the link later). The reference is Psalm 100:

A major problem in the church today is that not enough people understand the nature and purpose of worship. What happens when we use something that is inconsistent with its purpose? We break it. If we use our computer's CD tray as a cup holder - well, I think you know what would happen. If we don't use worship in a way that is consistent with its nature and purpose, then it, too, will be broken.

Why do we worship - is it just to give us an emotional high? We don't worship for our own reasons, we worship because it is our duty. We are even commanded to worship - particularly corporate worship (note the particular emphasis on the temple in this Psalm). All the earth is to praise God. For us as Christians, the responsibility is even more so, for God redeemed us for this purpose.

What then does this duty look like? Often worship is too passive. However, part of our duty of worship is the careful diligence of listening. We aren't to just tune out when others are offering up prayers on our behalf - we are to be listening, making their prayer our prayer, that we will be able to respond with a hearty amen. We are also to pay attention to how we dress. We are in the special presence of God when we are meeting together for corporate worship, but too often we don't show this in our dress. If we are expected to dress nicely if we meet the president of the United States, how much more so when meet with the King of Kings?

Our acts during worship are to be acts of praise and adoration. Love words spoken to God in our prayers are often missing. When we forget who we worship, our worship becomes dull. We are to worship God exuberantly. As we gaze on God's beauty and holiness, we become more like Him. Our corporate worship will truly define the rest of our week.

What then is to be our motivation for worship? God has designed these things for our edification. Corporate worship is a means of grace by which God has designed to grow, deepen, strengthen and edify us. We are to know Him, think on Him, worship Him. When we come into Jehovah's presence knowing who He is, we will come as worshipers. When we don't prepare to worship Yahweh, worship becomes dull and meaningless. We need to reflect on His names, attributes, and works. If we prepare better, we will worship better.

Worship is about God, not man. It is a covenantal affair, a family affair - not geared toward the visitor or unconverted. We may interpret the worship service for those who do not understand, but we may not change or cater the way we worship for their comfort. Once we do, our worship becomes man-centered instead of God-centered. We need to be certain that our worship continues to be focused only on Jehovah at all times.

27 June 2009

Saturday Psalm & Praise

This Saturday I am highlighted Psalm 98A, O Sing A New Song to the Lord. I was first introduced to this psalm about two years ago, at an annual spring conference my family was attending for the first time. As far as I can remember, this was one of my first experiences of congregational singing in parts. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to everyone sing, though I admit I was quite confounded as to how you knew which part to sing at which point! Since then I have really fallen in love with this type of singing and this piece has become my favorite sacred piece of music.

To give you a taste of the beauty of this psalm, take a peek at this video. It is only the first verse, but it gives you a glimpse of beauty of this psalm:

The words to all seven verses (shamelessly stolen from Sarah's blog!) :

O sing a new song to the Lord
For wonders He has done,
For wonders He has done;
His right hand and His holy arm
The victory have won,
The victory have won,
The victory have won.

The great salvation wrought by Him
Jehovah has made known.
Jehovah has made known.
His justice in the nations' sight
He openly has shown,
He openly has shown,
He openly has shown.

He mindful of His truth and grace
To Isr'el's house has been.
To Isr'el's house has been.
The great salvation of our God
All ends of earth have seen,
All ends of earth have seen,
All ends of earth have seen.

O all the earth, sing to the Lord
And make a joyful sound.
And make a joyful sound.
Lift up your voice aloud to Him;
Sing psalms! Let joy resound!
Sing psalms! Let joy resound!
Sing psalms! Let joy resound!

With harp make music to the Lord
With harp a psalm O sing!
With hard a psalm O sing!
With horn and trumpet raise a shout
Before the LORD, the King,
Before the LORD, the King,
Before the LORD, the King.

Let seas in all their vastness roar,
The world, it's living hoard.
The world it's living hoard.
Let rivers clap, let mountains sing
Their joy before the Lord!
Their joy before the Lord!
Their joy before the Lord!

Because He comes, He surely comes,
The judge of earth to be!
The judge of earth to be!
With justice He will judge the world,
All men with equity,
All men with equity,
All men with equity.

When you get together a room full of saints raising their voices to God with this Psalm, it really is like a small taste of heaven on earth!

Through Him,